Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's Hip to Be Square

I finished one sock for my aunt's birthday in November. The pattern is Merino Lace from Favorite Socks and the yarn is KnitPicks Essential.
Next up is my mom's lace wimple, from Lace Style.

I have to say I am addicted to granny squares. I inherited this yarn (old school original '70s acrylic in green, gold, and light yellow) and a few completed granny squares from my aunt Nancy (not the same aunt who is getting the socks) a couple of years ago. I wasn't as good a crocheter then and I had a hard time figuring out the construction of the granny square. This was before the publication of Cozy Crochet and The Happy Hooker, my two favorite crochet books, and also before The Purl Bee was invented. Friday night I sat down to work it out, and thanks to this great tutorial from The Purl Bee I finally got the hang of it and I am in love. Also, miraculously, my squares match the ones that were already completed, and I now have a stack of fifteen squares (I told you I was addicted. Plus crocheting is much faster than knitting). I think I need somewhere in the ballpark of 39 squares, but I could be pulling a random number out of nowhere. I also have to figure out how to attach them (just sewing them together seems kind of boring to me.
In other news, this is my last week in Plymouth working at the library. We just moved all my stuff out of the apartment today (my family members were really not impressed with the amount of yarn I have accumulated). Classes start in two weeks at Simmons (my mom, grandma and I went down to visit on Friday, which was fun, but I am really glad I'm not living in the city), and I start work at Northeastern that week too. I have reference librarian training at Daniel Webster College on Friday. It's exciting but I will miss the people and places of Plymouth.
Also, with four graduate classes, two jobs, and an internship, when I am supposed to knit?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stash Busting Like Whoa


Felted Mohair Ballet Slippers from Felted Knits
Yarn: KnitPicks Wool of the Andes 4 skeins (about 2 skeins leftover) in Fern and Mulled Wine, and less than half a skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Sage and Medieval Red, respectively
Source: KnitPicks and stash
Needles: Addi Turbo 24" US Size 13 circular, Susan Bates 29" US Size 11 circular
Modifications: None other than yarn substitution

I really learned my lesson with these slippers: putting a pair of jeans in the washer with them speeds up the felting process considerably. It took two times to felt the slippers for my mom (the red ones) but only once for my grandmother's (the green ones). However, it worked out for the best because my mom has smaller feet and needed that second felting to get them smaller. (My felting obsession has been refueled by the purchase of the special issue of Felt put out by Interweave).

Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt from the Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Knits
(Sorry about that lower photo, it makes my eyes hurt, but it shows the placket in pretty good detail. It's not that wonky-shaped in real life, I don't know why it looks like that).
Yarn: Less than one cone of Brown Sheep Cotton Fine in Twilight Green
Source: Stash
Needles: Susan Bates 24" circular US Size 2, Crystal Palace bamboo US Size 2 straight
Modifications: Gauge adjustment, yarn substitution (woo-hoo for stash busting!), knit in the round instead of separately and then seamed, added 2" in length, added waist shaping.

Awkward bathroom mirror shot, but you can see that it fits like a dream.

You can see the true colors better here.
I have finally completed the Treeline Cardigan from the Purl Bee. The worst part is that I have had the knitting finished for a few weeks, and I even dyed the cotton snap tape (my closure of choice) before I went on vacation. I was nervous that it wouldn't work so I put it off, but Friday I bit the bullet and pinned and hand-sewed the tape on. It took me all the way through the 1954 version of Sabrina and the better part of an hour-long episode of the fabulous show Mad Men to finish it (I went up and down both sides of the snap tape to make sure it was secured properly). Anyway, it was worth it. I have a beautiful sweater that fits perfectly and doesn't make me look like a gorilla and I learned some interesting new techniques.
Pattern: Treeline Striped Cardigan from the Purl Bee
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay, 4 skeins each light brown and light blue
Source: Stash and one skein of brown was from Knit New London
Needles: Clover 8" (yes, 8") circular US Size 8, Addi Turbo 32" circular US Size 8
Modifications: Added enough stitches to adjust pattern for 42" chest (the original pattern only goes up to 38"), left off some repeats for the button band, added 3.5" to the length, added 1.5" to the arm length, maybe a few other changes here and there (I kind of just did them as I went along).
I'm almost done Leo's Christmas sweater. I got both sleeves done on Friday at the open mic at the Bridge Cafe, and I even read one of my poems! Exciting for me, since I never read my stuff. I'll post that next week, hopefully along with lots of other finished projects. Next up, something for me: Fiber Trends' Landscape Shawl in the excellent organic Irish wool I bought a few weeks ago.